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Confusing Gun Bill Awaits Dalrymple's Signature - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Confusing Gun Bill Awaits Dalrymple's Signature

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A new measure passed through North Dakota's legislature is raising some eyebrows.

House Bill 1467 allows people to possess a gun during a declared state of emergency and even allows them to sue if the government tries to take their guns or ammunition.

But some people are concerned about the bill's confusing language and how it could be interpreted during.

Carol Saude was not quite sure about what it says, explaining, "Well it has to do with something with firearms in emergencies."

Prairie Rose Seminole adds, "So if Fargo starts flooding, I can just get my pistol strapped on and carry a load of bullets..."

Several struggled with what exactly House Bill 1467, a measure discussing firearms in a declared emergency, says.

"Is that what this is doing? Kinda creating a lot more vigilantes," says Seminole.

The confusion of most was not noticed by lawmakers, though. 

Bill writer Rep. Karen Karls says, "I don't see that at all, and obviously the House or the Senate didn't see that either."

To both Karls and one of the co-sponsors, Sen. Kelly Armstrong, what is written is pretty clear.

"Simply all the bill does is make your gun rights the day after an emergency situation, exactly the same as they were the day before the emergency situation," says Armstrong.

A person cannot carry a concealed weapon without a permit, and Armstrong says you cannot go waiving AR-15's around in the streets.

The bill is meant to protect Second Amendment rights from the government in declared emergencies including floods. It is modeled after what happened in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina when help was not available and police tried to confiscate firearms.

Rep. Karls says, "Law abiding citizens were at some point able to buy guns or maybe they had guns to protect their property. There was a lot of looting going on."

While the bill awaits a signature from Governor Dalrymple to send a message about gun rights, the constituents also want to send a message to lawmakers. 

"We should be able to understand our rights and understand our laws and language like this doesn't allow us to do that," says Seminole.

Bill supporters say about 30 other states have enacted laws like this one.

The measure would also allow the sale of firearms and ammunition during a declared emergency.

Here is a link to the actual bill:

http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/documents/13-0800-02000.pdf?20130403173343 

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